Russia continues to come up with new ways to maximally limit the freedoms of citizens, for the residents of the country to do and even talk only what the “Tsar” consents to.
The State Duma Committee for Culture recommended to the chamber to pass the first draft of the bill regarding fines for the ungrounded use of foreign words in cases of public spread of information in the state language.
It is expected that the members of the Parliament will propose to the State Duma council to include the condiment to the agenda of the plenary session on July 1st. “The bill may be passed in its first draft with additional work for the second draft, including any wishes,” says the conclusion of the committee, signed by its head Stanislav Govorukhin. Continue reading →
Oleksiy Stolyarenko, a lawyer, offers some insights into the Ukrainian language law and why it has been so misunderstood. Opinions aside, Stolyarenko lays out what is actually written in Ukrainian law.
One of the first ‘scandals’ that beset Kyiv after the dust had settled from the departure of Viktor Yanukovych was with regard to what has widely been called a ‘ban on the Russian language.’ Opinions on this supposed ‘ban’ have been many and loud, but most of the people who have raised the language issue not only are not legal specialists, they have not even read the actual laws involved. Continue reading →
I was in Kyiv. To anyone who hasn’t yet been there – I advise you to go. Especially if you claim to have an opinion about Kyiv. As they say, one look is worth a thousand words.
On the eve of my trip to Kyiv I asked my internet-kitties on Twitter the following question: Can anyone give me instances of any recent violence by extremists in Kyiv? On March 29, on the eve of my departure for Kyiv, Putin in a telephone call to Obama had specifically complained about rampages by extremists. I did not get a single response to my question. The masses of Kremlin trolls who swamp my account, didn’t manage to deliver. Poor things.
Since the crisis in Ukraine took the shape of a fundamental conflict between a growing part of the Ukrainian people and a government of “crooks and swindlers” that, as it later turned out, managed to rob the nation of an approximate 70 billion euro, Russian friends have asked me with increasing urgency for independent media sources to help them follow the events. Initially, when it was not yet clear in what way the standoff would end and the atmosphere at Maidan was still quite joyful, the requests were mainly the result of curiosity, rather than a urgent need to know what was actually happening on the ground. Russian media downplayed the size of the demonstrations, referring to “several thousand” of them, while in fact some 800,000 demonstrators filled Independence Square and all the surrounding streets and alleys. It resulted in jokes in the social media, e.g. a photo of the massive demonstrations with the text: “Special for Russian TV: we are not here.” Continue reading →